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Old 12-03-2010, 01:19 AM
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Default Partly arsenic-based lifeform discovered.

THE TRUTH on the Californian NASA POISON ALIENS
BBC News - Arsenic-loving bacteria may help in hunt for alien life

Very interesting
Quote:
The discovery of a previously unknown lifeform in California that lives on arsenic is prompting astrobiologists to broaden their hunt for alien life.

The new bacterium - GFAJ-1, part of the class Gammaproteobacteria, which also includes E.coli - was discovered in samples taken from Mono Lake. The lake is naturally high in arsenic because of its location near the volcanic hotspot of Yosemite National Park.

"We not only hypothesized that biochemical systems analogous to those known today could utilize arsenate in the equivalent biological role as phosphate, but also that such organisms could have evolved on the ancient Earth and might persist in unusual environments today," said Felisa Wolfe-Simon, the lead author of a study appearing in the journal Science Express.

Phosphates are vital to life on Earth, forming the backbone of DNA, for example. Arsenic is so toxic precisely because, being located directly below phosphorus in the periodic table, its chemical behaviour is similar: it is able to disrupt basic processes.

Quote:
The first organism able to substitute one of the six chemical elements crucial to life has been found.

The bacterium, found in a California lake, uses the usually poisonous element arsenic in place of phosphorus.

Until now, the idea has been that life on Earth must be composed of at least the six elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus - no example had ever been found that violates this golden rule of biochemistry.
This... is... epic
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:26 AM
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Just heard about this on the radio, litterally 5 minutes ago.
Hooray for anti-biologic, rule breaking organisms!
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:26 AM
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Quite amazing. I wonder if we will ever find an organism that completely uses silicon or any other element in place of the norm.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Banefull View Post
Quite amazing. I wonder if we will ever find an organism that completely uses silicon or any other element in place of the norm.


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Old 12-03-2010, 02:51 AM
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This is nearly just as amazing a discovery as exterrestrial life.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banefull View Post
Quite amazing. I wonder if we will ever find an organism that completely uses silicon or any other element in place of the norm.
That's a large part of the significance of this, it shows that it's possible
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:55 PM
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Extraterrestrial life... we're getting close.
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:15 PM
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This is AWESOME. So, so, so, so VERY cool.
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Old 12-07-2010, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Dreaming Of Pandora View Post
Extraterrestrial life... we're getting close.
And if we find some, we'll be so thrilled that we'll take steps not to disturb it...right?
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:14 AM
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Huh.........

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this means that in the cellular respiration of these microbes, instead of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) being the "energy producing" molecule, it would be Adenosine Triarsenate, replacing the Phosphorus in the ATP molecule.

This means that instead of the reaction:

ATP --> ADP + Energy

It would be

ATA --> ADA + Energy

Which is a VERY big deal; it means that amongst organisms that utilize cellular respiration (bacteria, animals, and probably some outliers that I'm forgetting), there are now multiple different kinds of cellular respiration possible, depending on what is being used for the "energy producing" molecule in the reaction.

And therefore, the number of different ways that life can exist and come about has increased, thus increasing the likelihood of finding life on other planets/moons.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:00 PM
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The use of arsenic is replacing the phosphates in DNA (the helix structure is composed of phosphate groups with the bases attached) rather than ATP, but otherwise then yes, that's the idea
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:13 PM
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Laws of nature are made to be broken, you know.

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Old 12-08-2010, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
Laws of nature are made to be broken, you know.

About laws being broken...







Said to produce 5 times the energy it requires to run. I guess it won't do much if this is more physics than biology *referring to topic* :p

But some laws are to be rewritten they say if this shows up to be true after real scientists get their hands on it. Thought I could throw this in here
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:16 PM
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Perpetual motion is at best people being gullible, at worst a scam to trick people out of their money. You can not avoid the laws of thermodynamics.
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:07 PM
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It was fun while it lasted

The NASA study of arsenic-based life was fatally flawed, say scientists. - By Carl Zimmer - Slate Magazine
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